Imagine you just started exploring your sexuality. It’s new and scary, and you’re trying to figure out who you are as a person. Now, all of the sudden, you have superpowers and are inducted into a secret government-run program in order to help you control those abilities. You are not going to adjust particularly well. Spectrum #2 follows Richie Sorensen as he is introduced to his fellow teammates and the rest of the government organization known as the Project.
The world of Spectrum comes across like Michael McAdam recognized the LGBTQ+ metaphor in X-men comics, but, feeling dissatisfied, decided to take matters into his own hands by making the figurative literal. Coming out as gay and as a superhero is definitely something that Richie is going to deal with, but there’s also this lurking danger in a government organization forcing enrollment in their superhero program. McAdam goes so far as to reference the yellow stars the Jewish people wore during the Holocaust. Overall, I felt as though the pacing was a bit bumpy and lacked fluidity, but it will be interesting to see how McAdam continues to tell an LGBTQ+ narrative through this lens of super-heroics.
Jeremy Thew does a good job on art, but I often felt that the panels could have been better laid out. At times there wasn’t enough room left in the panel for McAdam’s lettering to fit, resulting in some speech bubbles moving into the next panel and back when they shouldn’t have to. Even the way Dewayne’s powers are shown seems to change every time. Marvin Marvida’s colors are bright and vibrant, perfect for a series about a kid with light-based superpowers. The pages are well lit, so there’s no confusion about what the reader is seeing.
Spectrum #2 is a coming-of-age superhero comic about coming out that is quite reminiscent of X-men comics–from the sudden development of superpowers to enrollment in an institution to help them learn about who they are and what they can do. This is highly recommended to people who are looking for positive narratives about being LGTBQ and navigating a challenging time.